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Development of the concept and design of a robotic system dedicated to cleaning the pipes (tubes) of evaporators in sugar, ethanol and bioenergy plants

Grant number: 21/01383-7
Support Opportunities:Research Grants - Innovative Research in Small Business - PIPE
Duration: November 01, 2021 - July 31, 2022
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Mechanical Engineering - Mechanical Engineering Design
Principal Investigator:Sergio Tsukahara
Grantee:Sergio Tsukahara
Host Company:MC Supply Comércio, Importação, Exportação e Intermediação de Negócios Ltda
CNAE: Fabricação de máquinas e equipamentos para uso industrial específico não especificados anteriormente
City: Santa Bárbara D'Oeste
Pesquisadores principais:
Newton Pedro Rosa Vianna Junior
Associated researchers: Marcos Daniel de Lima ; Taís Helena Martins Lacerda


Mc Supply Comércio & Intermediações de Negócios Ltda., With the fancy name DUO Automation, is a company specialized in solutions aimed at robotizing industrial operations and has already dedicated itself to the development of products for welding robotization aiming the recovery of the upper rollers and of the mill, and having the support of development banks and a development agency for the execution of developments. Seeking to expand its performance in the sugar-energy sector, the company has been studying the feasibility of applying advanced robotics, an enabling technology of Industry 4.0, dedicated to cleaning the evaporation pipes (tubes). The cleaning of the evaporation pipes is represented by a necessary procedure, in order to remove incrustations formed during the processing of the sugarcane juice, which will bring negative impacts represented by obstructions in the pipes, loss of heat exchange capacity, and more stops for cleaning. Nowadays, the cleaning of the evaporation tubes, in most of the plants, has been carried out manually / mechanically (the employee needs to go inside the tubes and do the mechanical cleaning), using rosettes or hydrojetting. And, since the evaporation tubes are considered a confined space, we have the chemical cleaning technology that seeks to reduce the labor involved in this operation, but the chemical cleaning technology is still not efficient in descaling, in addition to generating undesirable residues. Several business partners of DUO Automation, concerned with the increasing rigor regarding the safety of their employees, have been trying to limit the access of people in these confined spaces. Hence the company supported by these plants, submits the project that will seek to develop a robotic system for cleaning the evaporation tubes, seeking to adapt to the normative requirement (NR-33), but without neglecting the quality of the cleaning of the tubes, since the good the functioning of this unitary operation is of vital importance for the industry. The concept consists of replacing the manual work of cleaning the evaporator pipes with a robotic mechanical, or chemical or mechanical / chemical cleaning system, without the need for the operator to enter this confined space. Hence, DUO Automation submits the proposal to Phase I of the PIPE Program, which proposes to carry out an investigative study in the field, seeking to deepen knowledge about the concentration of sugarcane juice, to know the types and characteristics of the evaporators used by the sector, and gather information about the types of cleaning systems; will define the project requirements, then start the development of the robotic cleaning system project, and stages related to the pre-development of the prototype, represented by the construction of parts for the mechanisms necessary for the movement of the arm and tests on the test bench. from the company. The expected result of the Phase 1 project consists of having an alternative project accepted by the market, demonstrating the concept and design of the robotic system and technical and economic / financial feasibility study. (AU)

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